Continued from the last issue
LONG long ago and far away, there lived a king who was kind and good. He also had the special advantage of a wise queen, who counseled him on many aspects of law and life.
One day the king faced a complex problem to solve, and he went in a hurry, to the private apartments of his queen without the usual protocol of prior announcement. At that time, the queen was in the midst of a discussion with her female friends, about some issues specific to womenfolk.
When the queen saw the untimely and unanounced arrival of the king, causing quite a bit of embarrassment to her friends, the wise lady just covered her dismay with a smile, took him aside, and whispered, "Welcome my foolish lord, what can I do for you?"
The king was rather shocked to her her words, and without replying to her, he retraced his steps to his chambers, being upset, angry and confused, at the queen's welcome smile and unwelcome words. But after a while, he became calm but curious to know the reasons for the her words, since he was convinced of her wisdom.
The king also had an intelligent minister and to him, he now turned for an answer. The minister gave a patient hearing to the king's woes, gave a quick smile, and said, "My Lord the queen was only telling the truth, and subtly indicating it to you. You were foolish in your rash intrusion but, you are only the first and the least harmful of the five types of fools, flooding this planet."
At these words of the minister, the king became more curious, forgetting for a moment, his placement in the category of idiots. He demanded from the minister, more knowledge about these fools.
"The first among the fools, my lord," said the minister, "is the one who just barges into a group of people, uninvited and unannounced and stands mute, before them like a pillar, producing all-round embarrassment. While he is certainly a fool, he belongs to harmless variety."
"The second fool, is the fellow, who having been invited by his friends, misuses their courtesy, and interrupts their conversation quite often, with his own views on a subject about which he knows little. He creates a situation, where his friends can neither tolerate him, nor throw him out, the former because he is foolish and latter because he is their friend. He is more harmful than the first type, but he is not dangerous.
"The third among the fools, is the fellow who keeps on arguing, and exposing his unripe knowledge in an assembly, unmindful of the ridicule and unaware of the futility, thereby wasting his time and that of others. He is the proverbial fool, who learns nothing and forgets nothing."
"The fourth fool in the line, is the knowledgeable fool, the incorrigible fault finder, one who takes pride, while in a discussion, in finding fault with everybody, and with everything, just to show off his assumed intelligence. He may attract people with his half knowledge, but the certainly repels them with his brazen ego. He is the dangerous fool."
"The fifth fool is the unfortunate fellow who keeps company with any of the above fools, either by choice compulsion or convenience. While his wisdom impels him to react, his predicament prevents from him, a response. He is the wise fool."
"And so my lord," the minister concluded," the queen quietly and subtly indicated to you, your position in order of priority, among the five fools who inhabit this earth."
The king now regained his composure and also retained his respect for the queen. While he appreciated the explanations of the minister, there remained one more doubt in his mind, which he desired to reveal.
"My dear minister", said the king with a twinkle of mischief in his eyes, "Now that you and the queen, put me as the first of the five fools, may I know, to what category, do you and the queen belong?"
"Sure my lord," said the minister with a similar twinkle in his eyes, "While I cannot and would not answer for the queen, for my part, I can humbly say that I belong to the fifth type of fools, since I am keeping company with you!”
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